I’m Walking on Egg Shells with my Mother-in-law-to-be

Question: Dear Luise: My future mother in law is very disrespectful towards me. She is really close to my fiance’s ex-girlfriend and whenever she has the opportunity she talks about her and makes comments that are unnecessary. This past thanksgiving she asked me if I considered myself insecure. I asked her why would she say such a thing and she said because I refused to have his ex around me. I proceeded to tell her that is not an insecurity issue but rather an issue of respect. I don’t need to meet her and her son (my fiance) does not want anything to do with his ex either. So I guess what I’m trying to say that she (my mother in law) has done this for the whole time we have been together and she always says “I’m sorry” but does it again. I hit my boiling point and called it to her attention and she had the nerve to make the situation about how hurt she was that I’m such an ungrateful person. I want things to get better because this is seriously affecting my relationship with my fiance but I’m not willing to sacrifice my dignity and respect for someone that I’m not sure even truly cares for me. What should I do? J.

Answer: Dear J. I sure wish I could match you up with the wonderful mother-in-laws who write to me about hateful daughter-in-laws, but then you wouldn’t be with the right guy!

You are getting one that is going to give you trouble. Well, she already has. It is so childish and manipulative to act as she does and then try to make you look bad.

It’s natural for you to want things to get better but you have to accept that she may not have it in her. She may learn to care for you eventually but right now she is very cruelly making it clear whom she wants for a daughter-in-law.

Since she is acting in such an immature and superficial way, it is up to you to be polite and not get into it with her. Truthfully, you are the adult here. You’re the person your fiance wants to spend the rest of his life with. You hold the high card in this situation. He also sees through his mother’s behavior, which is a real blessing.

Do what you have to do with her on a social level, be on your guard when you are around her and stay away as much as is humanly possible…(without being too obvious.) It’s just the way it is…because she comes with the guy you love. It’s a package deal, unfortunately. Remember…if it weren’t for her, he wouldn’t be here.

Try not to carry tales and don’t get into back-stabbing. Rise above it as much as you possibly can. There’s a reason your fiance chose a person unlike her. It’s his respect for you that matters. Blessings, Luise

2 Responses to I’m Walking on Egg Shells with my Mother-in-law-to-be

  1. R. October 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Dear Luise, Lucky for me and my marriage I live in Canada and my mother in law oceans away in Poland. Since I married my husband 25 years ago she always negatively remarked about our marriage to the point that she said we should never marry. She failed couple merriges herself. Since I respect my husband for all that time I have ignored her poor attitude but I am at the point I don’t think I can do that anymore. We have a good relationship and we are happy together. We met 30 years ago at technical university and we are pretty successful in our jobs. We also two very sucsesfull kids. We take a good care of ourselves, so we look good, we travel a lot and we have nice group of friends. We try to spread our good fortune with others and help where we can including my mother in law. We also try to spend as much time as we possibly can with our parents and extended family. Last year we took my Mom in law to Paris and this year I convinced my Mom that cares for my father with advanced dementia and my mother in law to condo in Spin. After we returned home and my husband called her she started to complained about everything and that we were showing off. She also analyzed our marriage and noticed that one time I was going on other side of the sidewalk. First of all I don’t even remember that and if I did that it is simply because my Mom was in wheelchair and Spanish sidewalks are very narrow. Anyway, we spent our vacations and money and not even thank you from her. I was busy with preparing meals and making sure that everybody is well and happy. We paid all expenses and even bought her a pretty expensive shoes and again not even thank you. I am very upset and after that unpleasant phone call that my husband had I am debating what to do and if I should confront her. I was thinking to talk to family, but now I just think I should ignore it all, stay well, look good, travel and never to see her again. What is your opinion, please advice. Regards, R.

    • Luise October 21, 2010 at 8:31 am #

      I think you might get a lot out of going over to my Web-forum with this. It is for women who have difficult issues with extended families and adult children. You can’t change your MIL no matter what you do or say but you can set boundaries and stick by them. You can communicate to her that you are aware that for some reason she does not enjoy traveling with you or like your gifts…and let her know that you are not going to to continue either practice since they were both designed to bring her pleasure and joy. Talk with your husband about it and be sure you are together on this. She is not going to like any action you take because dissatisfaction is the way she lives her life. However, trying to please her hasn’t worked, either, and you have gone way past where I would have gone. You deserve so much better and she is getting a great deal more than she deserves and whines about it.

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